Why do I care about big issues AND veterinary branding? I know I confuse some people in vet med. I will talk about branding and marketing one day. The next, I speak out about the need for things like living wages and anti-racist action.

I attributed these seemingly unrelated interests to my personality. I’m a curious Gemini with my gel-manicured paws in a little bit of everything. I won’t let you box me in as “just” one thing.

But as I continue brand strategy work with more veterinary businesses, I see how the topics of brand strategy and activism beautifully intertwine. You can’t just put out pretty words and images. You need to do real work to create a lasting and effective brand. You can’t promote marketable promises with nothing behind them forever.

(Follow me on Instagram for more veterinary branding content – @Danielle.K.Lambert)

What actually goes into a veterinary brand strategy?

When I’m working on a veterinary branding project, it’s an intense process! In the end, the public sees a pretty logo and Instagram-worthy posts. But figuring out the brand strategy behind that exterior takes a lot of work behind the scenes.

Branding lays the foundation of what you or your business represent. It’s what you’re known for, who you help, and the effect you want to have on everyone that interacts with you. I often tell people to consider the difference you feel when you walk into a Target versus a Walmart. That’s branding.

If you’re going to get results from your veterinary brand strategy, then you have to communicate your brand through marketing. I want my clients to get real results. This means we have to dive in deep on how their brand will back up the things they say in their marketing.

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Why do you need to back up your veterinary brand strategy with IRL efforts?

Why does this matter? Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from doing this for over a decade, it’s that you can’t market a total turd forever.

Sure, you can spice the turd up. You can throw some glitter on it, brand it as The Magic Nugget™ and put it out in the world.

With some skillful social posts, people might mistake your sparkly turd for something that is truly magical. They’ll buy the shit out of that glittery shit! It will arrive in gorgeous packaging, and they’ll put it in their pocket. (After all, your IG posts promised doing that brings good luck!)

But eventually, we all know that glitter is going to fall off and go everywhere. When that happens, the people who bought the turd are going to find out the truth about what happened. Great branding and marketing swindled them into buying a freaking piece of poop.

Now I know veterinary professionals find poop in their pockets frequently, but let’s consider that an unusual job perk.

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This is how you build a successful veterinary brand…

What I’m getting at here is that I believe in highly ethical marketing and branding. I’m not trying to be “preachy” by telling you that you need to look deeper. I want you to actually get results if you invest in my courses or services!

I could swoop in and help you sell a million orders of The Magical Nugget™. Then I could leave you to deal with the fall out that will inevitably happen when your customers find out it’s just a piece of shit. I could make plenty of money that way, and it would be a lot easier than pushing you to back up what you say in your marketing.

But I want to help you build a brand that is real, sustainable, and truly valuable. This means there can’t be any floof. We have to dig in on hard topics.

You can’t just tell me that your brand is about having a positive impact on veterinary teams. You need to tell me how you are actually making that happen. And that’s why I push the brands I help on topics like living wages and anti-racism.

You can’t just preach about mental health. You need to tell me exactly how you will support your team’s well-being. And – again – that’s why I push the brands I help on topics like living wages and anti-racism.

Five years as a practice manager taught me that you have to follow through with promises you make to clients and team members to retain trust. I see branding and marketing as real promises. You need to earn trust if you want to succeed long-term.

Your veterinary brand’s marketing strategy can’t just be cool buzzwords!

If you say buzzwords like “mental health support, “positive team culture”, or “streamlined customer experience” without any real action behind them, then you’re trying to sell a glitter turd.

And sure, people may buy The Magical Nugget™ the first time around, but they won’t fall for that twice. If you’re trying to build something that lasts, you’ve got to put the authentic effort in to fulfill your brand promises.

Veterinary professionals and pet owners deserve way better than a sparkly turd. That’s why I ask tough questions about tough topics during the brand strategy process. It’s not easy work to build and market an effective veterinary brand, but it’s a lot better than selling people a piece of shit.

Need help with your veterinary brand strategy? It can get tricky, but I can help you get it done in a matter of hours! You can DIY (or with some group coaching) here at Snout School, or get more high-level support (including motto development) at The Snout Group.